Nydia Jeffers

Assistant Professor of Spanish

“The Spanish major is the first step connected to a Spanish-speaking world of opportunity, community and culture.”

Nydia Jeffers wants her students to speak up and express their opinions to share the information they have learned about the Hispanic culture.

She urges them to find an emotional connection to the Spanish language through cultural artifacts, such as bilingual novels, travel videos and songs, that can be audio-read so language can become a lifelong experience to enjoy.

“The more progress students make, the more enjoyment they’ll encounter until the moment comes to apply for a bilingual position,” Jeffers said. The jobs can range from translating the website content of a company to serving Spanish speakers in a government job.”

She pointed out several events held on campus last semester, including Spanish Karaoke, Spanish vocabulary games, and a Hispanic World Heritage presentation that connected literary quotes in Spanish from different Hispanic countries.

Teaching writing and reading skills at the beginning level and speaking and listening skills at the intermediate level are what Jeffers enjoys most.

“My teaching style involves creative writing and eclectic reading materials from subtitled videos to bilingual websites,” she said.

Jeffers said she tells the story of her life to motivate students to travel, study and teach in Spain.

“After living abroad for the last 12 years, my life came full circle when I was hired at Henderson,” she said. “But I was especially happy when, through this position, I was able to recommend a student to teach in Spain, and now she is having the time of her life.

“The program is called North American Language Teaching Assistantships in Spain. I want more students to benefit from this program.”

Jeffers earned her B.A. in English and a teaching certificate in Madrid, Spain. She began working on her master’s degree in English in Washington D.C., but returned to Madrid after one year to study a three-year degree in library science and documentation.

When Nebraska’s Department of Education visited Spain to search for Spanish teachers, Jeffers returned to the U.S. and taught high school Spanish for a year. She applied for an adjunct position at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and completed her Master of Arts in language teaching, followed by aa Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Hispanic literature.

If she wasn’t teaching Spanish, Jeffers said she would translate or interpret full time.

“But teaching full time at Henderson is my dream come true,” she said.

When she’s not in the classroom, Jeffers enjoys “going to nature” by walking the trails of Arkansas and watching its waterfalls and lake horizons.

Department:
English, Foreign Languages and Philosophy

Contact Info:


Degree and School:
Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Research:
- Race/gender analysis of Spanish American novels, short stories and poetry

I've been at Henderson since:
2014

Courses